The bottom of the pyramid (BOP) consists of communities that reside in geographically remote areas and lack access to physical and technological infrastructure. Consequently, supply chains that distribute to and source from the BOP suffer from hindrances in information exchange between supply chain partners and are particularly vulnerable to information separation. The paper examines how service organizations operating at the BOP use ICT to reduce information separation in their supply chains. Noting the importance of and problems plaguing the delivery of healthcare services at the BOP, we use the healthcare services supply chain as the context for our study. We first draw from the literature on BOP supply chains and healthcare supply chains, to identify key information separation problems. We then develop, from secondary and published sources, a detailed case study on the BOP initiatives of one of the largest healthcare organizations in India. We analyze this case to reveal (1) particular ICT applied to healthcare supply chains at the BOP, (2) how these ICT reduce information separation in healthcare supply chains, and (3) developmental outcomes of information separation reduction. The study contributes to the emergent literature that addresses developmental impacts of ICT at the BOP. It provides, for practice and policy, key issues that private and public service providers must consider in order to build effective supply chain processes and delivery mechanisms at the BOP.
Tarafdar, Monideepa and Scott, Nehemiah, "Information Separation in Service Supply Chains at the Bottom of the Pyramid: An Illustration through Telemedicine" (2012). GlobDev 2012. 11.